All small business owners should be spending some time looking at new ways to promote their business and the great thing about online is that there are so many places you can list your business for free and lately lots of great new apps that can put your business in front of consumers at the point they are looking to find a business like yours.

With a little initial effort you can create an online presence that not only improves your chances of getting found in search engines but gives you a diversified network of places where consumers can find you. Some may only bring you small amount of direct business each year but combined they can make a noticeable (and potentially a large) difference to your bottom line.

It can be daunting for the average small business owner though, with so many services to choose from and new ones popping up all the time. Its also hard to tell sometimes which are reputable and which are not, it has never been easier to build a professional looking site with some very polished themes and plugins providing a lot of functionality with little work.

The other big advantage of listing your business in more places online is that you can improve your Local SEO.  If you are a local business then Local SEO is vital to your business and helps you get found when people do a search that has Local Intent, such as a search for “Plumbers in Brisbane” or “restaurant in camp hill“.  When you perform a local intent search a special section appears on the first page of search results and your ranking and even whether you appear here is based on your Local SEO efforts.  It’s not enough to just list your business however, you need to make sure your business data is as consistent as possible across all these listings so ensure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) are as close as possible across all your listings.  Getting your business to appear in the Google 7 pack (shown below) for the keywords relevant to your business is gold for your business and conversely dropping off can make a big difference to your ability to be found online.

google local search - plumbers in brisbane

Local Intent Search for “Plumbers in Brisbane”

 

The free Online Services Explorer at www.mypresences.com/services/ helps you find the best online services that are relevant to your business in your location and gives you a lot of help in deciding which ones to promote your business on for maximum benefit.  We support over 700 online services and apps worldwide and are the worlds most comprehensive source of information on online services for small business promotion.

mpresences - online service explorer

With so many options out there and with many of them being free you really should take advantage of as many reputable services as possible to make sure your business gets found online before your competitors.

When using our Service Explorer to find new services to list your business keep the following in mind to help guide you on where to concentrate your efforts when promoting your business online.

Select relevant Business Type and Location

service explorer - Choose the right business type and location to help promote a business online

We link services to business type and location so that only relevant services appear.  If you do not select the correct business type or location you will likely miss niche services that are relevant to your business.

As a global service you will find services for most countries especially Australia, USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand.

Recommendation Level

Choose the most important services to help promote a business online

We have categorised all services into 6 recommendation levels based on how important that service is for your business.

Must ListThese services provide significant opportunities for your business and are often heavily used by consumers or your data on this service is used by many other services and apps and not having a presence will mean your business will not be listed in many places online.
Highly RecommendedThese services can be very effective in generating business or might be a major service in a particular niche. Your business should have a presence on this service.
RecommendedHaving a presence here is likely to bring you additional business and benefits.
SuggestedHaving a presence will help to increase your overall online presence and may lead to additional business and benefits.
NeutralThese services appear to have little value and may have never achieved a level of activity that warrants a presence or has a lack of transparency to determine the value of the site. The site might also be poorly designed and show an overall lack of care which would indicate that it may not have a future or may be old and unmanaged.
AvoidA service may be marked as avoid for a number of reasons such as dishonest business practices or the site becoming unmaintained. You should only add a presence on this service if you feel there is a benefit and there is a clear way to remove the presence if you need to.

Focus on services that are Must List first and work your way down the list, do not add your business to any Services below Suggested unless you have looked at the service and feel there is an advantage.

Engagement and Popularity

myPresences sort options

Services that are popular tend to have better engagement with their community and this will be reflected in the number of connections they have on social networks and how much traffic their site gets. This is not always the case however and it is possible that numbers may be inflated based on other factors, sometimes numbers may be inflated because a service has purchased social media favour but this is far less likely the more established a service is.

A great number to watch is Talking About on Facebook, this is an indication of the number of people who have engaged with their Facebook page is some way in the last week.  The Talking About number will changed from day to day based on the previous week and is a great way to see how engaged a services users are.

We also track the Talking About % which allows you to level the playing field and see how many people are engaged as a percentage of the total likers for the service, this is a great way to see those services that are getting a lot of attention from their users right now. This will change every day so checking who is at the top of the Talking About % for your business is a great way to find trending and interesting services to keep your business ahead of the pack.

Once you have selected a set of services you can then sort them by the following engagement metrics to see which are most likely to be effective for your business based on engagement.

LikesThe number of Facebook Likes
TalkingThe number of people interacting with the Service on Facebook in the last week
Talking %The percentage of people engaged with the service on Facebook to the number of Likers.
FollowersThe number of followers on Twitter
RankThe Global Rank of the services website from Alexa. This is an estimate of traffic and can be inaccurate but the bigger the service the more accurate it will be. It is mainly useful for comparing the relative traffic for different services.
Domain AuthorityThe Moz Domain Authority. This is a score out of 100 is a measure of the power of the domain. The higher the better.
Presence %This is the percentage of business on myPresences that have a presence on the service.

Delivery Channels

service explorer - channels you can use to promote a business online

In the last few years we have seen a big move from desktop to mobile computing on phones and tablets. This trend will only continue and the most innovative companies are moving their focus to mobile.   If a service has a mobile option then they are more likely to be forward focused and your business is more likely to be found by consumers looking for businesses around them when their ready to spend.

You should look for services that have a mobile option and make sure your business is listed on their platform.

Free Services

You can’t beat free right!  There are a lot of services that are either free or provide a free option.  You should look for Free services by selecting the Free filter option and making sure that you are listed on all Suggested and above services.   You should also filter on SEO as these services will allow you to add a link to your website and will pass on full link juice (will help you rank better in search engines).

service explorer - general filters to help decide where to promote a business online

Specific Services

These services are only relevant to a specific business types.  Look for services that are specific to your business in your location by using the Specific filter button.  These services are worth listing your business on because some consumers will rely on these niche services when looking to find a particular type of business, they will also likely allow you to showcase your business better as they will be tailored to your type of business.

Claims

Styleseat claims example on mypresences.com

Services are making claims about their performance all the time, but it can be hard to remember which site claimed what and then to know if the claim is even relevant anymore.  The internet changes so quickly that quoting traffic numbers from 2010 can be meaningless and often a telling sign that things are not going well.

We collect claims made by Services so that you can see them side by side when comparing them, we will tell you when the claim was made and show you the source of the claim.  The older the claim the less relevant it becomes and if it is quite old it may indicate that the claimed value has not improved since.

In the above example you can see that Styleseat (www.styleseat.com) users have booked over 5.5 million appointments so if you are a hair or beauty salon then this is a good indication you should be listed on this fast growing niche service. On their profile page you can see this claim was made in January 2014 and link to the source.

Always check for recent claims when comparing services, some of them may surprise you, that service you had never heard of may be serving millions of customers a month.

Go Deep

Tripadvisor profile page on mypresences.com - more detail on where to promote a business online

If you are looking for more information on a service, each has its own profile page that can be found by clicking on the Full Profile button on the service (or by clicking on a service in the platform).  Here you can find some very detailed information on each service that can help you determine its popularity and user engagement.

On the service profile page you can:

  • Track the trend over the last 60 days on statistics for the service.  This will tell you where the service is improving or whether it is falling away.
  • Add your Business to the Service.  Clicking the link will take you to the business signup page .
  • Login to the service as a User.  This can also be used to login and access a backend management service if supported.
  • See search trends for the service.  Google Trends for the service name over the last 4 years is a good way to gauge popularity.
  • Discuss the Service or ask questions about the service that other users can answer.
  • See the types of information the service supports and the countries where the service is available.

If you have a mypresences account you can also store your access credentials securely for each service.  This is especially useful when an agent is managing your online presence for you and they need access to login credentials.  All access to your credentials are logged and reported back to you.

Check Back

We are always adding new services and updating details for existing services.  To keep on top of the best services for your business check back periodically to see if there are any new services or changes to existing services that make them worth listing your business on.  If you have a free account on the myPresences platform you will be automatically informed when new services launch or there are significant changes at existing services.

Good luck with promoting your business online .. most small business owners are doing very little to promote their business online so a little bit of effort will put you ahead of the majority of your competition.  As more and more consumers are looking online first when finding a local business it will only pay off more and more as consumers continuing to move online.

If you are looking for a better way to manage your businesses entire online presence and reputation, please try a free account at www.mypresences.com.

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